I raced in the Hustle Up The Hancock on Sunday. It’s a race up 94 floors to the top of the Hancock building. I really enjoyed it – similar to mountain climbing. They start a racer every eight seconds from 7am to about one in the afternoon. The stairs didn’t really get that crowded, but I had to pass people every so often, which takes extra energy as you generally have to pass them on the outside, and need to take the stairs two at a time to get enough speed during the half-flight of stairs before the turn. I did it as a team member through Lakeshore Athletic Club where I work part-time as a climbing instructor (and they sponsored part of the race). They actually have water stations in the stairwell. Timing chips on your shoe and the whole deal. Very cool experience. I hadn’t counted on the hand rail being such a help – I pulled myself up, probably 20-30% of my weight with my arms – mostly left arm. I began running them two at a time but all my training was on the stair machine, and I did them one at a time in training so went to single steps – still made good time, besting my goal of 18 minutes, coming in at 17 minutes, 30 seconds. Below are some videos I took with my Blackberry on the way up – gives a feel for it.
Apparently a fellow with a double lung transplant does the race each year – one of the happiest men around I’m told. As would most of us be I suspect, were we given a new lease on life and been blessed with that forced appreciation of every minute and day on this earth.
I went to a free carbo-loading dinner the night before the race generously sponsored by the Signature room on the 95th floor of the Hancock and met the fellow who runs the race, terrific fellow and very committed to the Respiratory Lung Association of Metro Chicago whom the event benefits.
A couple points to note. My friend owns the company that sells Better Whey of Life yogurt -it’s delicious low sugar all natural yogurt with 15-17 grams of whey protein in it. I ate one before the race and two after. I had right around zero soreness the day after the race and none two days after. I did eat a bunch of other good food but I wonder if there’s a connection…